Even three years after he said it, there’s a quote from PlayStation’s Jim Ryan that continuously comes back to haunt him. Speaking to Time in 2017, Ryan was asked about Sony’s stance on backwards compatibility. In response, Ryan told the story of how he was recently at a Gran Turismo event, and upon seeing how “ancient” the older games looked, thought to himself, “why would anybody play this?”
Many have argued that this is dismissing many original PlayStation hits, and feared that this attitude would result in older games being lost to time with no rereleases.
However, as spotted by VGC, Ryan seems to have walked back on this statement, explaining that speaking ill of older games was not his intention.
“The point I was trying to make – obviously not very well – was just how great the PS4 version looked and how far the series had evolved. I certainly wasn’t trying to be disrespectful to our heritage,” Ryan elaborated, speaking in the latest Axios Gaming newsletter. “When Kazunori Yamauchi unveils the next Gran Turismo side by side with its history[…]I will keep my mouth shut.”
The intention here appears to be to separate the jab at the older games from Sony’s strategy on backwards compatibility, instead explaining that he was simply praising the new Gran Turismo.
However, it’s worth noting that the comment about older Gran Turismo games was actually made in the context of Sony’s lack of backwards compatibility support. Indeed, he opened the statement by explaining “I can say it is one of those features that is much requested, but not actually used much,” and then went on to tell the anecdote about the older games.
The timing of the statement also coincides with a change in PlayStation’s strategy concerning the PS3 and Vita stores. Sony was planning to pull support for the digital storefronts, but after widespread pushback, the decision was reversed. Both this and Ryan’s recent comments could indicate a change in strategy.
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